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Escaping Abusive Relationships: Therapists Keep This Quiet

Escaping Abusive Relationships: Therapists Keep This Quiet

The aftermath of escaping abusive relationships is an emotional minefield many aren't prepared for. I can help you avoid some of those mines. Read this.

Escaping abusive relationships involves more than the escape plan, and you won’t know the depth of your problems until you break free. But, as you plan your escape, it often feels as if getting out of the abuse will make everything better. And once you get out, you will have well-deserved stages of bliss – you will often feel much better! But at first, as often as you feel better, you will feel worse or confused or doubtful of your ability to create a life of your own. The aftermath of escaping abusive relationships is an emotional minefield that therapists won’t warn you about. I can help you avoid some of those mines.

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Escaping Abuse: 5 Things Your Therapist Won’t Tell You

Escaping Abuse: 5 Things Your Therapist Won’t Tell You

No formula for escaping abuse exists; every abuse victim’s escape story differs slightly. However, the domestic violence escape plan for almost all abuse victims takes shape when he or she can no longer excuse or cope with the abusive behavior. Sometimes, the abuse victim attends therapy when hit with the realization that escaping abuse is the best option. When that realization comes, the victim/survivor tends to focus on the escape and gives very little thought to what he or she may feel after escaping abuse. And guess what? Your therapist isn’t going to tell you the future. But I will.

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Verbal Abuse and Child Custody in Family Court

Verbal Abuse and Child Custody in Family Court

What Role Does Verbal Abuse Play in Child Custody?

Verbal abuse and child custody remain mutually exclusive in today’s family court decisions. While verbal abuse breaks hearts and minds instead of bones (effects of verbal abuse), our family court system rarely considers verbal abuse when determining child custody. Unsettling as it is, family court may never consider verbal abuse and child custody needs concurrently for one reason: The First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.

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Abusive Relationships: Devil You Know vs. The Devil You Don’t

Abusive Relationships: Devil You Know vs. The Devil You Don’t

In abusive relationships, the devil you know seems better than the devil you don’t. We go back and forth over leaving our abusive mate, wobbling between fear of them and fear of the unknown. It’s a tricky balancing act, especially when our partner seems to know just when to put on their nice mask. The sweet phases of an abusive relationship add to the confusion and indecision about just what kind of devil we know.

What kind of devil can be so sweet one minute and so nasty the next? And why can they act kind for long stretches and then turn back into monsters over meaningless situations or words? Why do they hurt us? Why do we stay? Will this relationship hurt the children? Can this relationship last? Should I stay to see if it gets better? Should I run and not look back?

Unfortunately, I am incapable of giving you those answers. And honestly, the longer you take contemplating what those answers could be, the longer you’ll be stuck with the devil you know.

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Leaving An Abusive Relationship: Why Can’t I Just Leave?

Leaving An Abusive Relationship: Why Can’t I Just Leave?

Leaving an abusive relationship usually can't be done the moment you figure out your partner abuses you. Leaving abuse takes planning and time, if you have it.

So many people beat themselves up over the question “Why can’t I just leave?” You want the easy answer? You aren’t ready to leave yet.

You

  • haven’t been convinced that the abuse warrants you leaving, or
  • you lack financial resources, or
  • you’re in business with your abuser, or
  • the kids are too small, or
  • the kids are almost out of school, or
  • the abuser needs you, or
  • fill in your reason here.

Notice I said fill in your reason here. These are not excuses. The reasons you stay may sound like excuses to someone else, but don’t let anyone belittle your decision to stay. I really want to end that sentence with “to stay for now” but truth is that you may never leave. You could be 70 years old and wondering how your spouse is managing to exceed life expectancy, them being so miserable and nasty and all (lots of people are doing this right now).

I want you to be okay with choosing to stay, because making decisions is empowering. Staying is a choice you can make.

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Top 10 Most Engaging Verbal Abuse in Relationships Blog Posts

Top 10 Most Engaging Verbal Abuse in Relationships Blog Posts

Last year, I did a top ten list of the most viewed Verbal Abuse in Relationships blog posts, so I thought I’d do something different this time. The posts on this list earned the largest percentage of comments per times viewed. If you missed them, perhaps you want to add your two cents. Readers tell me all the time they get as much from the comments as they get from the post, so share your experience so we can ALL benefit!

Many of these posts do not have many comments, but don’t let that deter you. This post isn’t about the largest number of comments. It is about the most comments per times viewed, or the most engagement from readers based on number of views.

Happy New Year and may 2014 be the beginning of something GREAT in your life!

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Am I Imagining The Abuse in My Relationship?

Am I Imagining The Abuse in My Relationship?

Is The Abuse In My Head?

So often, people ask me the question “is this abuse just in my head or is there a problem with my marriage?” Sure, sometimes things are just in our heads. Psychotic minds “see” bugs climbing out of walls where there are none (at least, no bugs that we non-psychotics can see), and the experience is as real to them as NOT seeing bugs is to us.

I suppose you could be imagining problems where there are none; you could be imagining abuse. But if you have no psychosis and, for example, do not see bugs climbing out of the walls, and outside of your relationship your judgments seem pretty sane, then I really doubt you are imagining the abuse.

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Psalm 27 and Domestic Abuse

Psalm 27 and Domestic Abuse

Recently I had the opportunity to converse with a woman, Cathy, who lives with an abusive man. She didn’t know exactly where to start her story, but I noticed that “psalm27” was part of her email address.

I am familiar with the prayer because it gave me comfort during my days of living with an abusive man. Initially, Psalm 27 seemed to tell me to stay on track, that God sent trials my way for a reason. I came to understand it differently, and I’d like to share with you the email I sent to Cathy (with her permission of course, and with a few edits for clarity).

I don’t usually delve into religion or my lack of religion on this blog. I do not pretend to be a biblical scholar. However, God (by whatever name) and I are tight. I listen to The Voice – but sometimes my human mind doesn’t want to hear the real message at first.

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Can Love Make The Abuser Stop Abusing?

Can Love Make The Abuser Stop Abusing?

  • “But I love her (so I stay).”
  • “He had a horrible childhood (so I stay).”
  • “She never learned how to love (so I stay).”
  • “I want to show her that someone in her effing life cares (so I stay).”
  • “He is really sick and has no one else but me (so I stay).”

Can You Love The Pain Out of an Abuser?

Victims of abuse stay in the abusive relationship for many reasons, and many of the reasons relate to love and/or empathy for the abuser.

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Abuse Can Change A Victim’s True Nature

Abuse Can Change A Victim’s True Nature

A lifetime ago, as I sat on my bed unable to put my feet on the floor and get going, I cried to myself, “I am better than this! I deserve more than this!” I knew intellectually that my relationship with my husband Will caused me great harm, but I couldn’t quite get my emotions and my mind to align. My head told me to RUN, but my emotions cemented my feet in place. The best I could to get out of that bed was to tell myself that today I would get through to Will. Today would be the day I led Helen Keller to the water pump…today Will would understand. Today, my husband would change and we would break through the walls between us. Today I would get it right.

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